Plans bear fruit as wood in Chidham opens after three years

Maybush Copse project's chairman Stephen Johnson joined by Sofia Wilson at the opening of Chidham's new community wood  C120499-1. Photo Louise Adams
Maybush Copse project's chairman Stephen Johnson joined by Sofia Wilson at the opening of Chidham's new community wood C120499-1. Photo Louise Adams

After three years of hard work and fundraising, a new community woodland in Chidham has been opened to the delight of residents.

The Maybush Copse woodland at Cot Lane was opened to great applause on Easter Saturday. Around 4,500 trees – 800 of them planted by the local community – have been placed at the former derelict eight-acre site.

Chairman of the Maybush Copse Friends Stephen Johnson said the opening was a significant milestone for the community.

“The project started properly in 2008 with a bit of wishful thinking.

“With the tremendous support of lots of people, the expertise of the conservancy, the generous funding from many organisations and a lot of hard work, we have managed to improve this derelict land.”

The opening of the woodland marks the fruition of three years of work by a partnership between residents, Chichester Harbour Conservancy, Chichester Harbour Trust and the Maybush Copse Friends.

The woodland has three beautiful viewpoints with oak benches looking out over the neighbouring farmland towards the harbour. In time there will be open areas of wildflower lawn for families to enjoy picnics and ball games. A royal oak tree was also planted at the opening ceremony.

A new permissive footpath links Maybush Copse to the local public footpath network offering links to the harbour shoreline and the villages of Nutbourne and Chidham.

Sir Jeremy Thomas from the Chichester Harbour Trust said: “This is now a value-added asset. The value of a harbourside community is very real. They have converted a neglected site into something everyone can now benefit from. Schoolchildren will be able to come here and learn about nature and so will the local community who are involved in running it.”

Visitors to the woodland are encouraged to arrive on foot or by bike. Lockable cycle posts, kindly supplied by The Friends of Chichester Harbour have been provided along with a disabled parking space. There is roadside parking for a small number of cars.

For more information visit the Maybush Copse pages at www.chidhamandhambrook.info